Texas Food Handlers

Texas Food Safety Regulations

texas state flagAll food employees must have food handler’s cards, also known as food handler’s permit, as of September 01, 2016. Texas Food handlers must obtain a food handlers card within 60 days of employment. Food workers are defined as “an individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces”.

Food service establishments must have electronic or physical records of their Certified Food Safety Managers and Certified Food Handlers available during inspections by the Health Department.

Food Manager Certification

No statewide regulations on training specific to Food Managers. However, counties with a populations of 2.8 million and higher may require Food Manager Certification. Please check with your local health department for more information.

Food Handler Certification

Training must be approved by state or ANSI. Food Handler courses must be a minimum of 2 hours and do not include an exam. 

If you have passed an ANSI accredited Food Handler course in another state, Texas will acknowledge and exchange your previous Food Worker Card for a Texas issued one.

If you are looking for county specific information, please find detailed information below on county contact information.

Harris County Health Services

Dallas County Health Services

Tarrant County Health Services

Bexar County Health Services



Costs differ per approved course but most are under $10.


Certification Renewal

Food Manager – 5 years; Food Handler – 2 years


Approved Courses

Prometric, ServSafe, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (NRFSP), and 360 Training


Approved Options

Classroom, Online, or Pearson Testing Centers. Please check your local health department for the most up to date information.


Special Notes and Exceptions

There are no tests necessary to obtain a food handlers card.


Additional Resources

For additional information, visit Texas Department of Health resources:

State Health Services

Retail Food Code

Food Handler’s Study Guide

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